June 9 - 13, 2008
the 2008 Texas 200 is over, I will be posting pictures and stories
here. If you have photos, please send them to me on a disk and
I will post thumbnails here so that you can look at them and ask
the photographer for the originals. The same goes for video clips.
Likewise if you have a story to tell, send it to me and I will
post that here as well.
The inaugural Texas
200 is now history and it was a great success by all accounts.
You can read several accounts and see many photo albums HERE.
We had nearly 40 boats joining at least some part of the event.
Boats ranged from PDRacers (3) to Hobie 18's (2) to Catalina 350's
(1) and about everything in between.
The beach near Paul's Mott - click to enlarge
There were a few adjustments
in the route and hopefully those will be permanent. The second
night we tied up at the Padre Island Yacht Club docks instead
of the anchorage around the corner and Wednesday, we camped on
the shell beach near Paul's Mott rather than Deadmans Island.
The folks at the yacht club were very hospitable, providing not
only docks, but showers and rides to town for supplies and restaurant
meals as well. We feared the windy conditions we encountered would
mean waves would be breaking over Deadman's island so we opted
for nearby Paul's Mott instead. That turned out to be a great
Checking charts at PIYC
be another Texas 200?
Yes. We had a meeting
on Friday night after we landed at Magnolia Beach and the unanimous
decision was that I would continue in my role as Big Kahuna. This
was fine with me. I worried about the chores and pressures of
the job but after only a couple of days, it became obvious that
things were going to pretty much run themselves. When anything
needed doing, someone always seemed to step up and do it. So by
the time of the meeting, I was ready for a replay.
The Texas 200 will
remain a non-profit organization, but rather than the complication
and work of a voting body, bylaws, etc., I have decided to simply
operate as a dictator - until I get voted out, that is.
What else will
The 3 PDR sailors
I have thought a lot
and I think we can overlay some different types of competition
over the Texas 200 format. I have heard suggestions from outright
racing, to rally style competition to something like a geocache/scavenger
hunt. I would be willing to talk to anyone who wants to organize
such a contest to take place during the next Texas 200. The PDRacer
record-setting run this year is an example of an event within
an event. Any or all of these would be optional and I could easily
see more than one going on at the same time.
Another thing that
will change is is the arrangements for the shuttle. We will be
offering tickets for the shuttle bus at around $50 each. We think
there will be 55 available and previous attendees will have first
shot at purchasing them. Of course, anyone who can arrange their
own shuttle will not have to buy a ticket. Any left over funds
will go for the Friday night shrimp boil and a donation to the
PIYC. Tickets will go on sale about a month before the next Texas
200 as that is the earliest we can make the reservation. Anyone
who rode the shuttle the year before will have first shot at tickets.
After that it will be first come, first served.
Bill and Paul Moffitt on Mikesboat
I tried to warn folks
about the high winds and the bay chop and the distances involved
and the sun and critters and shallow water but sometimes people
have to learn lessons the hard way. The Miller family was one
this year. Read their account here but don't be too smug. There were quite a few boats that did not
make the entire route with the group. One boat barely made it
two miles before losing a rudder in shallow water. A number of
boats were unable to make Army Hole because they couldn't beat
upwind across Espirtu Santo Bay. For the most part these guys
were either unprepared or inexperienced or their boats were untested.
One exception was Bill
and Paul Moffitt. They built Jim Michalak's Mikesboat (named "Embers
Watch") just before the start and hauled the boat from Atlanta
for the event. In fact they were still rigging the boat the day
before we all took off from Port Mansfield. But they did fine,
in fact the boat turned out to be fast and seaworthy. Modest man
that he is, Bill Moffitt said of the boat: "I will take
credit for making Embers Watch and that the pieces I made did
not break. But Jim Michalak gets the credit for a very successful
design; all I did was follow the plans." Bill and Paul
are both experienced sailors who have proven that seamanship trumps
an untested boat.
Kellan Hatch and his inflatable tri
Another fellow who
was successful with a relatively untested boat was Kellan Hatch.
Kellan had a friend lined up to trail his XCR expedition trimaran
down from Salt Lake City where Kellan would meet up for the Texas
200. That deal fell through two months beforehand so Kellan, totally
committed to being here, scrambled to put together a boat for
the event. His creation was an inflatable trimaran called Fugu that he brought in a suitcase when he flew down.
Also I should mention
Charlie Jones who added amas to his CLC John's Sharpie to make
it into a nice cruising trimaran at the last minute. And finally
I really need to point out that two of the three PDRacers were
built by Jason Nabors in the months leading up to the Texas 200.
Undoubtedly there were others who overcame obstacles. In contrast
there were production boats that did not finish the course - I
won't name any of them however.